Stitch-Up in Ealing - Read All About it

New book about the campaign for an elected mayor

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Christine Eborall


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A local resident who led calls for an elected Mayor for the borough, claims the campaign was 'sabotaged'.

Christine Eborall, a former consultant and researcher from W13 has released a book revealing just what happened to the huge grass roots campaign of 2001-2.

The mother - of- two has lived in Ealing since 1980 and has been involved in Friends of the Earth, Ealing Centre Partnership, helped organise consultations on the future of Ealing town centre and the borough’s air quality, and led on a major study of the extent of hard surfacing of the borough’s front gardens.

She says she is not party political 'in any way' and has never aspired to be mayor or councillor - but is a 'concerned citizen.'

Her book " Stitch-up in Ealing" : new book on the 2001-2 campaign for an elected mayor for Ealing'' , has been self-published because commercial publishers felt the market would be too niche.

Christine says:

''As many will remember, back in 2001-2 we campaigned for an elected mayor for the borough, because the council ignored the community’s clear wish for one.

We got together the largest mayoral petition yet produced (over 12,000 signatures) and forced a referendum.

Ealing councillors simply would not contemplate handing over to the people the power to choose the council’s leader.

We were sabotaged and opposed every step of the way – by all the councillors, all four local political parties, two local Labour MPs and poorly-conceived legislation.

The few councillors not opposed to elected mayors were whipped into line.

Community and residents’ groups, many dependent on council funding or support, kept their heads down.

I’ve written this account from the grassroots now because a different government is once again trying to introduce directly elected mayors and ‘empower’ local communities.

On 3rd May the government is forcing 10 cities - Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield – to hold referendums so voters can decide if would like the council to be run by an elected mayor.

If the local politicians in these cities are anything like Ealing’s, they will be doing everything possible to hold onto power and ensure the referendum deliver a NO vote.

Their tactics will include minimal publicity for the referendum, misrepresenting the choice to voters, claiming an elected mayor will have all the power and scaremongering about the cost of one.''


The book iss available in paperback from the Pitshanger Bookshop, 141 Pitshanger Lane, Ealing W5 1RH, telephone 020 8991 8131, at £6.99 and on Amazon Kindle at £1.88 or thereabouts see


26th April 2012

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